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Cardinals could win first back-to-back titles in 2012

The Cardinals have seemingly done it all when it comes to winning the big prize. They've won the most World Series of any National League team at 11 and they're tied with the Dodgers and the Giants for most NL pennants at 18.

But the Redbirds have a chance to check a big accomplishment off their to-do list this October that the franchise has surprisingly never been able to pull off before.

If the Birds won the 2012 World Series, it would mark the first time in the history of the ballclub that it had won baseball's ultimate prize in back-to back seasons. It almost doesn't seem possible that this hasn't happened before.

The Cardinals have PLAYED in back-to-back World Series several times. They won the National League pennant in 1930 and 1931. But lost to the Philadelphia Athletics in the Fall Classic. In 1931 the Birds got a chance at a rematch and, bolstered by the addition of starting pitcher Dizzy Dean, they avenged their loss by winning the World Series over Philadelphia.

The Cardinals appeared in the World Series in three consecutive seasons in the 1940s: 1942, '43 and '44. But after shocking the world when the St. Louis Swifties beat the powerful Yankees for the 1942 championship, it was New York's turn for revenge in 1943 and the Bronx Bombers made swift work of the Redbirds. In 1944 the Cardinals beat their Sportsmans Park roommates, the Browns. But it wasn't a back-to-back championship thanks to the 1943 loss.

In 1967 it appeared the Cardinals had the makings of a dynasty when they beat the Red Sox to win the World Series. In 1968 they were heavily favored to beat Detroit. But, despite getting ahead in the Fall Classic, the Redbirds couldn't tame the Tigers and they lost in seven games.

So... for those who are satisfied by the 2011 championship, the Cardinals still have something to play for in 2012.

As a fan it seems like so much of the Cardinals legend happened before I was born. Musial, Dean, Frisch, Hornsby... It would be awesome to be able to see the most legendary team in the history of the National League accomplish something right before our eyes that it has never done before.